Practicing medicine in this day and age can be full of complexities beyond patient care. A successful practice often wears numerous administrative and marketing hats that orchestrate overall success.
If your practice is struggling, then perhaps it is time to take a look at other facets, aside from patient care, that might be influencing your practice’s growth or decline. For the last decade, online engagement has increased in an unprecedented fashion, making it the go-to source for most patients trying to identify and locate a medical doctor or learn about specific health issues. (Check out: “Patients and Doctors Continue to Check Online Reviews”)
If you have not incorporated a holistic online-marketing strategy, then that is the first place to start in order to remediate issues related to business growth.
Let’s explore the most common online marketing shortcomings affecting the healthcare industry. Reviewing these common issues will help you diagnose the root problem of your business decline, and give you just the right formula to drive your practice to the next level.
If your website does not provide optimal viewing in a range of devices, then you could be missing out. An increased number of potential patients are doing the research for the selection of a new primary-care physician or specialist using mobile devices such as tablets or smartphones. By not having a website that displays properly in these types of devices, you are impacting the customer experience in a negative way, even before someone becomes your paying customer.
Does your website look like a digital business card, no more, no less? If that is the case, then you may just be missing out on potential new patients. Many individuals find a doctor not by searching by specialty or location, but rather by conducting research on health issues currently affecting them.
A good website in the medical field should be content-rich, addressing the way your services solve health problems. Consider having a blog or FAQ page. Highlight technology or additional services featured at your clinic, and provide a highly descriptive page with your qualifications and the qualifications of your team. Including endorsements and testimonials is a great way to gain credibility. When possible, feature them on your homepage.
Does your website allow for potential patients to engage in a direct conversation with your practice? Little details like having a user-friendly contact form, a chat-with-us option, or the willingness to keep a blog with the comment section open, allowing potential patients to ask questions and interact with you, make a world of difference.
This is hard to believe, but we see it often: multiple medical practices with incomplete or outdated content. Some go as far as having outdated addresses or no contact information. Finally, it is not uncommon to spot pages that scream neglect by having an abandoned blog. If you are unwilling or unable to maintain your blog, then consider removing the section completely.
Incomplete External Profiles
If you are listed on online external directories, such as the ones provided by insurance carriers or local professional associations, then make sure your profile is well-written, reflective of your current credentials and experience, and inclusive of updated contact information. If the directory includes a photo, then provide a professionally taken portrait frequently. Your new patients expect the face in the directory to match the doctor they meet in person. Your credibility and trustworthiness begin with such details.
Neglected Reputation Management
It is no surprise that new patients are not searching for you by name. Presently, most individuals identify new medical providers by using review sites like Yelp to conduct research, and better understand the strengths and weaknesses of potential care providers. Even if you do nothing to improve your website, stepping up and taking care of your online reputation can, without a doubt, turn things around.
Medical reputation management has great potential for patient acquisition and market expansion. Begin by understanding where and how current patients are reviewing you. Take time to interact with your reviewers by responding to their reviews, and ensure your profiles on each of these websites are rich, informative, and well-written. The number of places available for your patients to review you is almost endless.
The most effective approach when it comes to taking control of the direction of your online reputation is to take an integrated approach and implement the right review monitoring tools. A good online review monitoring tool gives you a full picture, with solution-driven metrics that you can quickly tackle in practical ways. Taking control of your reputation is easier than ever. Take a moment to learn more about the ways patients use review websites in selecting a physician. Understanding patient behavior will definitely help you prioritize your marketing dollars and put them where they matter most.